The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has offered some tips to business travellers who may neglect their own personal health while on work trips – or who may be unware of the risks that they face. The CDC estimated that 5.1 million US residents made overseas business trips in 2012, and states that in an ‘increasingly global economy, this number is expected to increase’.
The CDC went on to say that while many businesspeople may not get much of an advance warning before a trip, if at all possible a doctor should be seen between four and six weeks beforehand to discuss issues such as vaccines and specialised local health risks – if this isn’t possible, however, a last-minute visit is advised. Travel health kits, first-aid supplies, prescription medications, diarrhoea medicine and latex condoms (due to the high risk of sexually transmitted diseases in many regions) are listed as essential items to be packed.
It is also suggested that due to issues such as jet lag, business travellers attempt to shift their sleep cycles by a couple of hours – earlier or later, depending on the destination – for a few days before departure. Alcohol and caffeine are not recommended (although whether this is advice that many travellers would follow, regardless of the health risks, is debatable). Mild sedatives are also advised for those who find it difficult to sleep on planes.
Due to the high stress of many business ventures, healthy meals, exercise and staying in contact with friends and family are recommended to minimise both mental and physical strain. The CDC also suggested that, where possible, if invited out to party and celebrate a successful deal or trip, travellers either politely decline or at least drink in moderation (although again, whether this is advice that many would follow may be very dependent on willpower).